Vettel's controversial Canadian GP penalty: Race stewards hamstrung by rigid rules

Sebastian Vettel (above) was penalised for rejoining the track in what the stewards deemed to be an unsafe manner, when he went off the road momentarily while under huge pressure from Lewis Hamilton.
Sebastian Vettel (above) was penalised for rejoining the track in what the stewards deemed to be an unsafe manner, when he went off the road momentarily while under huge pressure from Lewis Hamilton.PHOTO: AFP

MONTREAL - It's not difficult to appreciate how bad it is for the Formula One box office if fans leave a race believing one driver has won, only to find that another did because the first was penalised.

F1 escaped such a thing a fortnight ago when Max Verstappen was unable to overtake leader Lewis Hamilton in Monaco, and thus pull away to overcome a five-second penalty for an unsafe release during a pit stop. His failure to get past alleviated a situation in which, had he opened a gap of 4.5 seconds, he would have "won" on the road but been dropped to second, half a second in arrears.

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